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Review of Related

Marc Kenneth L Marquez, MAEd
Advanced Composition
Philippine Normal University
A literature review, according to Dawidowicz
(2010), is

“an examination of scholarly

information and research-based
information on a specific topic,
with a goal to create a complete,
accurate representation of the
knowledge and research-based
theory available on a topic” (p.5).
Fink (2005) succinctly defines a literature review
(as cited in Booth, Papaoioannou, & Sulton; 2012) as

“a systematic, explicit, and

reproducible method for identifying,
evaluating, and synthesizing the existing
body of completed and recorded work
produced by researchers, scholars, and
practitioners” (p.5).
Lather (1999) emphasizes that a quality
literary review (as cited in Rocco, & Bass; 2011)

“should not just reflect or replicate

previous research and writing on the
topic under review, but should lead
to a new productive work, and
represent knowledge construction on
the part of the writer” (pp. 146-147).
Thus, a literature review is

“an objective, thorough summary and critical

analysis of the relevant available research and
non-research literature on the topic being
studied (Hart, 1998). Its goal is to bring the
reader up-to-date with current literature on a
topic and form the basis for another goal, such
as the justification for future research in the
area” (Cronin, Ryan, & Coughlan; 2008).
Purposes of a Literature Review

o It gives readers easy access to research on a

particular topic.
o It provides an excellent starting point for researchers.
o It ensures that researchers do not duplicate a work.
o It can provide clues as to where future research is
o It highlights key findings.
o It identifies inconsistencies, gaps, and contradictions.
o It provides a constructive analysis of the
Two Major Types of Literature Reviews

o A ‘stand alone’ literature review is structured

much like an academic essay (i.e., containing
Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion).

o A section or chapter of a research proposal or

report that provides a theoretical context or
framework for the research being undertaken
(materials are arranged chronologically, by
theoretical perspective, from most to least
important, or by issue or theme) .
Other Types of Literature Reviews
o Traditional or narrative review critiques and
summarizes a body of literature and draws conclusions
about the topic in question.
o Systematic review uses a more rigorous and well-defined
approach to answer well-focused questions.
Meta-analysis is the process of taking a large body of quantitative
findings and conducting statistical analysis in order to integrate
those findings and enhance understanding.
Meta-synthesis is the non-statistical technique used to integrate,
evaluate and interpret the findings of multiple qualitative research
Steps in the Literature Review Process

1. Selecting a review topic.

2. Searching the literature.
3. Defining the types of sources for a review.
4. Summarizing information required in the
5. Analyzing and synthesizing the literature.
6. Framing and writing the review.
Writing the Introduction

• Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern,

thus providing an appropriate context for reviewing the literature.

• Point out overall trends in what has been published about the
topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions;
or gaps in research and scholarship; or a single problem or new
perspective of immediate interest.

• Establish the writer's reason (point of view) for reviewing the

literature; explain the criteria to be used in analyzing and comparing
literature and the organization of the review (sequence); and, when
necessary, state why certain literature is or is not included (scope).
Writing the Body

• Group research studies and other types of literature (reviews, theoretical

articles, case studies, etc.) according to common denominators such as
qualitative versus quantitative approaches, conclusions of authors, specific
purpose or objective, chronology, etc.

• Summarize individual studies or articles with as much or as little detail as

each merits according to its comparative importance in the literature,
remembering that space (length) denotes significance.

• Provide the reader with strong "umbrella" sentences at beginnings of

paragraphs, "signposts" throughout, and brief "so what" summary sentences at
intermediate points in the review to aid in understanding comparisons and
Writing the Conclusion

• Summarize major contributions of significant studies and articles

to the body of knowledge under review, maintaining the focus
established in the introduction.

• Evaluate the current "state of the art" for the body of knowledge
reviewed, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in
research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues
pertinent to future study.

• Conclude by providing some insights into the relationship

between the central topic of the literature review and a larger area of
study such as a discipline, a scientific endeavor, or a profession.
Literature Review A.
Smith (2000) concludes that personal privacy in their living
quarters is the most important factor in nursing home

Do not just
residents’ perception of their autonomy. He suggests that
the physical environment in the more public spaces of the
building did not have much impact on their perceptions.
Neither the layout of the building, nor the activities available

describe; analyze
seem to make muck difference. Jones and Johnstone make
the claim that the need to control one’s environment is a
fundamental need of life (2001), and suggest that the

and evaluate.
approach of most institutions, which is to provide total care,
may be as bad as no care at all. If people have no choices or
think that they have none, they become depressed.
Literature Review B
After studying residents and staff from two

Use an evaluative
intermediate care facilities in Calgary, Alberta, Smith
(2000) came to a conclusion that except for the amount
of personal privacy available to residents, the physical
approach well signalled
environment of these institutions had minimal if any
effect on their perceptions of control (autonomy).

by linguistic markers.
However, French (1998) and Haroon (2000) found that
availability of private areas is not the only aspect of the
physical environment that determines residents’
autonomy. Haroon interviewed 115 residents from 32
different nursing homes known to have different levels of
autonomy (2000). It was found that…

Booth, A., Papaoioannou, D., & Sulton, A. (2012). Systematic approaches to successful
literature review. ECIY, London: Sage Publications.

Cronin, P., Ryan, F., & Coughlan, M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review: A step-by-step
approach. Retrieved from

Dawidowicz, P. (2010). Literature reviews made easy: A quick guide to success.

Charlotte, NC: Age Publishing.

Learn how to write a review of literature. The writing center: University of Wisconsin- Madison. Retrieved

Reviewing the literature: A critical review. Academic Skills. The University of Melbourne
Retrieved from

Rocco, T., & Bass, H.J.. (2011). The handbook of scholarly writing and publishing. San Francisco, CA: Wiley

Writing a literature review. University of the Fraser Valley. Retrieved from